Michael Lough

Hall meeting a chance to be heard

I dare you. You, you, you and you, and one or two of you folks with a title at city hall, the courthouse, NewTown Macon the Chamber and the Visitors Bureau.

I double dare you.

If you have the chance for an early lunch, or if you have a certain amount of scheduling freedom, and you actually follow words with action, I dare you.

I dare you to do something.

Go to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame’s authority meeting at 11 a.m. Tuesday — it’s free — and make some noise.

Sure, that’s asking a lot for a city that has turned stagnation and buck-passing into an art, but some of us are just stubborn optimists.

Go to the meeting, confront authority members with agendas that have nothing to do with what’s best for the Hall.

Ask them why they became a team player and work on the induction ceremony in Atlanta — again, a night with all the emotion of an insurance salesman banquet — yet do little or nothing for the Hall itself or the ceremony in Macon.

Ask them why they just can’t let it go, that people decided something can be outside of Atlanta. Suggest that if they hate doing anything outside of Atlanta, just quit the foundation or board and move to inside the perimeter.

Ask them how good the shopping was in Smyrna during ceremony weekend.

Tell them you’ve been remiss and taken the Hall a little for granted, and that you’ve seen the light, that you want it all to stay here, period, and you will contribute something.

Tell them that a ceremony should be where the Hall is, and that the Macon City Auditorium is a substantially grander venue than a mall/hotel ballroom.

Tell them we’ll work on hotel issues, but wonder why anybody would be spending much time in their hotel, especially when there are other activities going on. Of course, there were activities in Macon before the ceremony.

Navigating Atlanta traffic and looking for a parking spot do not constitute “activities."

If you can’t go, think about what you’d want to say, sit down at your computer or typewriter and start hunting and pecking. Send it to executive director Jackie Decell at jackied@gshf.org or 301 Cherry Street, P.O. Box 4644, Macon, GA 31208.

Another alternative here in the City That Demands Free Stuff is to actually drive down to the Hall, pull out your wallet, pay $8 or $6, and lose yourself in the history of Georgia sports for an hour or two.

Hey, that’s a thought, actually doing what you’ve talked about or pondered.

Sure, it’d be nice if maybe the Hall adjusted the hours one or two days a week and stayed open past 5 p.m. since it has mostly targeted employed people who can and would pay, and employed people tend to work until 5 p.m. or later.

Of course, there are hundreds of second- and third- shift workers who can certainly break up the day with a visit and listen to Larry Munson or make left turns in the NASCAR simulator or check out pictures of old high school championship teams.

And Macon, as well as Middle Georgia, has plenty of money, and plenty of money-hoarders, more than enough to contribute, to subsidize some marketing and promotion, to help.

But really, find a way to make your thoughts known about the Hall itself, the Hall ceremony, the embarrassing agendas of a minority, supporting a key part of Macon’s downtown and the politicization of state museums.

Let’s note — and feel free to do so to your local legislator — that taxes are for things that may not be self-supporting, like parks, libraries, roads, development, recreation projects, schools and stadiums.

Another big thing would be to just go to the Hall and experience it. Goodness, if 10,000 of the roughly 410,000 people in Bibb, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Baldwin and Peach counties made one visit a year, the bump would be substantial.

This city has so much more going for it than its residents realize, and the Hall is just one example.

Tuesday, and every day the Hall is open, offers another chance to follow the talk by doing the walk.

Contact Michael A. Lough at 744-4626 or mlough@macon.com